Just get in. This year's New York Rangers are not the top seeded favorites we saw just one year ago. In 2013 they bolted in to the playoffs just as the door was closing. But finally, with one game to go, the Rangers, somehow, some way, scratched and clawed their way into the post season.
And so - wipe the slates clean. There are 16 teams left. And we all need the same 16 wins to hoist Lord Stanley's silver bucket.
It was, in some ways, a game like the Ranger's season. We can look great. They can look terrible. And all in the same game.
A first period two goal lead gave us all a false sense of security. Derek and Derick got us on the board (Brassard and Stepan - both assisted by Hagelin).
But in the second period, sure enough, the wheels came off and the Hurricane came all the way back. With three Stahl brothers on the ice ( everyone but the one we wanted there) Carolina tied the at two heading into the final frame.
And so after getting bellowed at by coach John Tortorella for ten minutes, the Rangers stormed on to the ice and quickly fell behind 3-2.
And then, with time running out, with the 9th place Jets grabbing the lead in their game, with the NJ Devils realizing that they might soon be getting the chance to turn the tables and eliminate the Rangers they way the Rangers eliminated them....
The Rangers rose from the dead.
It was Brad Richards and a huge dose of puck luck that evened the score. Richards banged the puck off the end boards. It bounces back - hit
Ellis' skate and found the net.
Call it ugly. Call it fate. Call it luck.
But we'll take it. The Rangers had fought back to tie.
On to overtime with the playoffs in the balance.
For most of the extra period Carolina pounded away at Lundqvist. Henrik had surrendered 3 goals on not-so-many shots but with the game on the line he held firm.
And then came Callahan's chance. The Captain found the puck and launched a perfect shot from a bad angle. He beat Ellis by finding the upper corner of the far side of the net.
And then.... Celebration
The Rangers in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Strap in kids - this could be one hell of a ride.
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